Qatar Labour Ministry responds to Amnesty International Report – The Peninsula

Doha: The Ministry of Labour affirmed that Qatar’s labour reforms will continue to take place at a pace that ensures holistic and lasting change, and Qatar is proud of the reforms it has introduced. 
Responding to Amnesty International Report, the Ministry said that “What we have achieved in a few years took many decades to achieve in other parts of the world.”
It also added that Qatar's commitment to labour reform is steadfast, and we are determined to continue to transform our labour market and set a leading example for other countries to follow. 
The Ministry noted that “Qatar's reforms were developed with the support of international partners, such as the ILO, several NGOs, and trade unions, and these partnerships are built on trust, hard work, and a shared understanding of our goals.”
Qatar also worked intimately with the business community, which includes Qatari and foreign companies, to ensure they comply with the new standards, and in the last five years, Qatar's reforms include a new national minimum wage, the removal of exit permits, the removal of barriers to change jobs, stricter oversight of recruitment, better access to justice and compensation, better accommodation, and improved health and safety standards, said the Ministry in statement posted on its official twitter account today.
“We have also worked with labour-sending countries to tackle exploitative practices that occur before workers arrive in Qatar. The progress made by Qatar is irrefutable. The Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, established by the government to provide payments owed to workers, has disbursed 110 million pounds in the past two years alone. During this decade-long process we have engaged openly with NGOs that have been consistently critical of Qatar,” the Ministry said.
It also emphasized that it regularly facilitate visits for NGOs to undertake their research in Qatar and meet with officials, and engaged with them in good faith and have always been willing to discuss their points of view. 
The Ministry said that the new report undermines much of the goodwill that has been generated, and engagement will always yield better results than condemnation, especially when they are unreasonably demanded.
It affirmed that “Our progress is proof that solutions are best found through constructive dialogue from all stakeholders, and Qatar's government is responsible for managing all aspects of its labour market, and no changes can be made without full coordination and cooperation with the relevant authorities.

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